Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 11/14/14
Mlb-yankees-dodgers-june
The Tampa Bay Rays filled their hole at first base before the first day of the WInter Meetings really even kicked off, signing former Dodgers and Red Sox first baseman James Loney to a one-year deal. Loney will earn just $2 million in 2013, making the deal very low risk for Tampa Bay. After a career year in 2011 (losing that phrase very loosely), Loney fell off dramatically in 2012 with the Dodgers before getting dealt to Boston as part of the megadeal between the two huge media markets. In Boston, Loney's numbers fell from .254/.302/.344 before the trade to .230/.264/.310 after, which is absolutely unacceptable from a first baseman. I think the Rays are looking for a Casey Kotchman type season from Loney this year. In 2011, the Rays signed Kotchman to a one-year deal after he put together a disastrous .217/.280/.336 season in Seattle, and Kotchman delievered for them with a .306/.378/.422 season before plummeting to his pre-Rays numbers in 2012 with the Indians. If the Rays can even juice two wins out of Loney, they'll be in a better position than they were in 2012, when Carlos Pena provided less than a win of value to the team in 600 plate appearances while chewing up $7.25 million of payroll. But the Rays might not be done with Loney. They have apparently been discussions (though to be fair, there are *tons* of discussions during the first week of December) between Tampa Bay and Washington regarding Michael Morse and Danny Espinosa heading to the Rays in exchange for some of Tampa Bay's young pitching (Jeremy Hellickson, James Shields, David Price, etc). A deal doesn't appear to be close to happening, though,,,but then again, things can heat up quickly once initial word gets out there. Morse could be a replacement in left field for Desmond Jennings, shifting to center to replace the departed BJ Upton, while Espinosa could play either position up the middle alongside Ben Zobrist. [follow]
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Pacquiao knocks down Algieri six times in easy win

John Calipari gets daughter's birthday wrong

Carson: Hall of Fame career not worth concussion problems

Tiger hires new swing coach

Is Sting making his WWE debut at Survivor Series?

Eric Decker: It's tough watching Emmanuel Sanders, Broncos

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Semaje Perine breaks Melvin Gordon's rushing record

Report: Chip Kelly, Eagles GM not seeing eye-to-eye

Pete Carroll open to playing Richard Sherman at WR

Jay Gruden: RG3 has been 'coddled for so long'

Red Sox have best offer on table for Pablo Sandoval?

LeBron: Kevin Love will get the ball 'if he demands it'

Sager makes first appearance since leukemia diagnosis

Harvard kicker wears glasses

WATCH: Tennessee fans go a little overboard celebrating TD

Dwight Howard out indefinitely after having PRP on knee

Report: Mike Gundy pursuing Florida job

WATCH: Jameis Winston gets away with shoving an official

WATCH: Georgia's Chris Conley makes diving TD catch

WATCH: Nebraska blocks field goal, returns it for TD

Florida DL shows support for Will Muschamp with eye black

WATCH: Javale McGee kisses elderly fan sitting courtside

WATCH: Tim Tebow busts out a brief Steve Spurrier impression

WATCH: Nerlens Noel gets flagrant for foul on Eric Bledsoe

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Cal gets daughter's bday wrong

Carson: Career not worth concussions

Report: Gundy pursuing Florida job

Tiger hires new swing coach

WATCH: Jameis Winston shoves ref

Florida DL supports Will Muschamp with eye black

Jay Gruden: RG3 has been 'coddled'

LeBron: Love needs to 'demand' the ball

Bills-Jets game will be free admission

Pete Carroll: Lynch is 'our guy'

Which NFL team will get the #1 pick?

Game of the week: Patriots vs. Lions

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.